If senior co-captain Eric Chisholm was nervous about starting the state tournament schedule, he surely did not show it. Chisholm led the Rockford men’s water polo team as they began their state tournament run Friday night, Nov. 11, against Ann Arbor Skyline. “It is my senior year, my last state tournament; I did not want to let the team down,” Chisholm said. Chisholm scored Rockford’s first goal and then 20 seconds later threaded a beautiful pass to hole-setter Grant Beach, who pushed it into the net. The Michigan High School Water Polo Association state tournament pitted the top eight teams from around the state competing at Saline High School. The team claiming the state title would have to win three straight games. The Rams (42-2), the number-one-ranked team in the state, opened Friday evening with a 14-2 victory over the Eagles of Ann Arbor Skyline. The win set up a state semifinal grudge match between the Rams and the Ann Arbor Huron River Rats Saturday morning. The Rats are the only team to defeat the Rams this season, and are led by talented Serbian exchange student Aleksandar Petrovich. The match between the Rats and Rams was high on passion, emotion and drama. Saturday morning, in front of a standing-room-only crowd, the River Rats and Rams squared off in a contest proving to live up to the hype. Both teams played with focused intensity in a tightly contested first quarter. Petrovich gave the River Rats a 1-0 lead as the first period came to an end. In a back-and-forth battle, the Rams and Rats traded goals and ended the half with a 4-3 River Rat lead. The Rats exploded in the third period behind Petrovich, ending the period with a commanding 9-4 lead over the Rams. The Rams refused to give in, opening the fourth period by scoring two quick goals. As the River Rats slowed their play to work on the clock, the Rams continued a thrilling comeback by scoring a total of five goals in the fourth period. The River Rats were able to score one goal in the fourth period on a five-meter penalty shot, which turned out to be the deciding goal as the Rats held on to win a thrilling 10-9 […]
November 17 2011
Rockford High School senior cross-country state finals runner-up Taylor Manett has been named Ms. Cross Country for her recent performance at the MHSAA state championship. The Division I state championships saw Manett lead the Lady Rams of Rockford to a fifth-place finish by placing first place in the team scoring and narrowly missing out on the individual state championships when she ran a 17:24.0. The Michigan Interscholastic Track Coaches Association honored Manett at their awards banquet in Big Rapids. Manett’s season saw her win the Rockford Invitational, Bath Invitational, Coaching Legends Invitational, Portage Invitational, OK Red conference championship and regional championship. In regards to time, Manett bettered her lifetime personal record from 18:08 to 17:23. Her performance of 17:23 is the fastest 5K cross-country time in Rockford school history. The previous school record of 17:32 was bettered by Manett on three occasions: the Cougar-Falcon Invitational, the regional championships, and the state championships. Manett is looking to continue her running and academics at Georgetown University or Columbia University in New York City. “This award, as well as Taylor’s other accomplishments, has come as a result of consistent hard work. She has steadily progressed from her freshman year through to this year because of her persistence and motivation,” stated Coach Ben Watson. “It is an honor to have her named Ms. Cross Country for the state of Michigan.”
The men’s and women’s cross-country teams are fresh off their dual WHAC titles and are now prepping for the NAIA National Championships in Fort Vancouver, Wash. next week. The WHAC handed out its post-season honors after the conference championships, and the Saints were well represented by both genders. On the women’s side, Catie Rietsema of Rockford placed in the top seven of the race to earn All-WHAC First Team honors. Jackie Katt of Rockford earned Academic All-WHAC accolades. Head Coach Mike Wojciakowski received both the WHAC Men’s & Women’s Coach of the Year award. Aquinas College, an inclusive educational community rooted in the Catholic Dominican tradition, provides a liberal arts education with a global perspective, emphasizes career preparation focused on leadership and service to others, and fosters a commitment to lifelong learning dedicated to the pursuit of truth and the common good. Approximately 350 student-athletes represent Aquinas College in 19 different intercollegiate athletic activities. The Saints are affiliated with the Wolverine Hoosier Athletic Conference (WHAC) and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA). The Sturrus Sports & Fitness Center serves as the hub of the Aquinas College Athletic Department, while Riverside Park, Houseman Field, Kimble Field, Fuller Park, The Highlands and Scott Lake Country Club provide the backdrop for other Aquinas College home contests.
The competitive OK Red season and three months of tough weekend tournament play has chiseled the Rockford varsity volleyball team to toughness. The Rams have earned a trip to the state quarterfinals in the MHSAA state volleyball tournament. Wins over two OK Red teams were on the Rams’ schedule last week and Rockford’s two victories over Grandville and Grand Haven assured the Rams a regional title and a trip to Caledonia in the state quarterfinals. The regional tournament, held at Jenison High School, had Rockford securing victories over Grandville, 25-10, 25-14, 25-21, and then in the title match, beating Grand Haven, 25-20, 25-18, 25-16. Rockford, ranked number two in Class A, seemed to bring out their opponents’ very best game with each team lining up to take a shot at knocking off the Rams. Rockford has met each team punch for punch and, like they have all season, stayed focus and stayed in their own game. The first set of the regional title match versus Grand Haven found the score locked at 18-18 with each team trading kills and trading points in succession. Rockford then kicked up the energy and charged past the Bucs to secure the first set win, 25-20. Set two found the Rams on the wrong side of a 6-1 score, but Rockford never flinched and battled back to even the score and then cruised to win sets two and three, earning the regional championship victory. The Rams earn the opportunity to play number six-ranked Gull Lake on Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Caledonia High School. The match determines who advances to the state semifinals to be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Kellogg Center in Battle Creek on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Rockford High School senior Kimberly Weston will continue her basketball career next year at Davenport University while studying business. Weston signed her letter of intent on Thursday, Nov. 10. “I have always dreamed of playing college basketball,” said Weston. “Today, it feels like a part of that dream came true.” Weston, a point guard for the Lady Rams, averaged 13 points per game, four assists per game, three rebounds per game, and shot 75% from the free-throw line last season. She is also a four-year varsity player, a three-year starter, and a three-year team captain. Her coach Jessica Yonkers said, “Kimberly has been a joy to coach these past three years. She is a tough competitor and a great leader. I am looking forward to her senior season and to seeing her play next year at Davenport.” As a junior, Weston was named Class A All State Honorable Mention and made the OK Red All Conference team. Weston was OK Red All Conference Honorable Mention her sophomore year. During Weston’s sophomore season, her team made it to the state quarterfinals and was also the first team in Rockford girls basketball history to surpass 20 wins in a season.